A POLICE probe is underway after a burned body was discovered on an allotment plot in South Yorkshire.
Officers made the grim discovery at around 5.20pm on Thursday and said the allotment on Long Lane, Oxspring, near Penistone, had earlier been on fire.
The body was too badly burned to even identify whether the victim was a man or a woman and police have not yet ascertained if the death or the cause of the fire are suspicious.
A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said officers found the body while making inquiries about a local elderly man who had gone missing.
Police have not formally linked the two cases, but are keeping the family of the missing man informed.
The allotment plot and surrounding area were sealed off by police as a potential crime scene and forensic teams are due on site this morning.
Pub barman Richard Beaver, who works at The Waggon and Horses in Oxspring, said: “The first I knew about it was on Thursday night when someone who lives around there came into the pub and said there were loads of police about and a burned body had been found.
“People were saying it was somebody who was reported missing.
“There are all kinds of rumours going around and people are speculating about what has happened and who it might be, but we don’t really know anything.
“I don’t think the site is used as allotments any more. I think they are old allotments.
“The site has been closed off since Thursday night.”
Another local said: “It’s a pretty quiet community.
“We don’t usually get a lot of crime around here and not things like this.”
Police forensic experts carried out a thorough search of the allotment plot to try to help piece together the circumstances surrounding the death.
A fire service investigator was also called out to the allotment plot, near Roughbirchworth Lane.
Firefighters had not been alerted to the blaze before the body was found. A post-mortem examination was carried out last night but the results have not been made public.
n Anyone with information should call South Yorkshire Police on 0114 220 2020.